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Copyright Case Summaries: Interview with Cicely Wilson and Courtney Minick of Justia

The Stanford Copyright and Fair Use site is pleased to announce a new feature to aid readers in keeping up and understanding copyright cases in a timely manner: copyright case summaries. To explain this new feature, Mary Minow talks to two editors of Justia, Cicely Wilson and Courtney Minick.

Mary Minow: Tell us about the copyright case summaries that the Stanford Fair Use site will be offering to readers.

Cicely Wilson and Courtney Minick: We will send a feed of summaries for cases that involve copyright issues to the Fair Use site. The summaries themselves are short blurbs that describe the key issues and holdings of a particular case. They are designed to give the reader a sense of whether they need or want to read the case in its entirety. The summaries link to the full text of the opinion on the Justia site, and they are also displayed on the same page as the opinion. This way someone browsing or searching for caselaw on our site gets the benefit of the overview as well.

As the number of opinion summaries grow in this feed, it serves as a survey of sorts for copyright and fair use law — something that we hope will provide a lot of value as a free tool.

Minow: Who is writing the summaries?

Wilson and Minick: We have hired a team of experienced writers, all of whom are licensed attorneys, to write the summaries. They summarize the cases in a concise manner and tag the cases with relevant areas of law.

Minow: You’re saying that a private company has hired a team of attorneys to write case law summaries, and then make those summaries available to the public for free? Why would you do that?

Wilson and Minick: Great question, Mary. At Justia we believe we all “do well by doing good.”  To that end, one part of our core mission is to advance the availability of free legal resources on the web. The newsletter summaries fit in as a part of this by expanding access to the law and add value to the free primary law on our portal.

Minow: Any last words?

Wilson and Minick: Thanks Mary! We are very excited about this new product, and hope it will provide a lot value to lawyers, law librarians, and others who need to stay on top of legal developments. We are also looking forward to the addition of editorial information to our database of free legal opinions, as a way to help organize and contextualize the material.

Minow: By the way, who are the pugs?

Wilson and Minick: The pugs are our co-workers, Sheba and Belle!  You can see more of there Justia office adventures on their Facebook page.